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Consolidated Tape

The Consolidated Tape Association (CTA) oversees the dissemination of real-time trade and quote information in New York Stock Exchange LLC (Network A) and Bats, NYSE Arca, NYSE American and other regional exchange (Network B) listed securities. Since the late 1970s, all SEC-registered exchanges and market centers that trade Network A or Network B securities send their trades and quotes to a central consolidator where the Consolidated Tape System (CTS) and Consolidated Quote System (CQS) data streams are produced and distributed worldwide.

The current Participants include the Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., Bats BYX Exchange, Inc., Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., International Securities Exchange LLC, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc., Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, National Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE Arca, Inc., and NYSE American LLC, (collectively, the "Participants"). The Plans govern the collection, processing and dissemination of trade and quote data. The New York Stock Exchange LLC is the Administrator of Network A and NYSE American is the Administrator of Network B. The Plans were filed with and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance with Section 11A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.


Tech Specs

Facts about the Security Information Processor (SIP)

  • The Security Information Processor (SIP) links the U.S. markets by processing and consolidating all protected bid/ask quotes and trades from every trading venue into a single, easily consumed data feed.
  • The SIP disseminates and calculates critical regulatory information including the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO) and Limit Up Limit Down (LULD) price bands among other important information such as short sale restriction and regulatory halts.
  • TA metrics on SIP performance (system availability, capacity, latency) and Subscriber use (non-professionals, professionals, quote usage, households) is available at the following link.

System resiliency for the SIP consists of:

  • Secondary back-up server running in parallel (hot/hot) to primary server, which allows exchanges to immediately reconnect if there is a primary service disruption
  • Fully redundant back-up site running hot/warm with 10 minute recovery time requirement or less if full system failure at the primary site
  • System availability requirement of 99.98%
  • 100% system availability in 15 of the last 20 quarters

Additional info

  • Current capacity messages per 100 milliseconds of 392,000 for the quote feed and 86,000 for the trade feed. Capacity above peak with capacity-to-peak ratio of 2.4:1 for the quote feed and 1.7:1 for the trade feed
  • Current median latency of about 230 microseconds

Other facts about the Consolidated Tape

  • Competitive fees providing access to consolidated protected quotes and trades for every market. Pricing information can be located at CTA Pricing.
  • Millions of professionals and nonprofessional investors have access to real-time prices via the consolidated tapes. Most nonprofessionals do not pay fees because the low cost allows for brokerage firms to include real-time prices as part of their service.
  • The consolidated tapes simplify compliance and implementation with regulations such as Reg NMS, short sale, limit up/limit down and best execution.
  • The Operating Committee and the Advisory Committee meet quarterly with the SEC and the members of the CTA Advisory Committee to review SIP performance and discuss policy matters.
  • The Advisory Committee consists of representatives from a Retail Institution, the Vendor community, Institutional Brokerage Community, the ATS’s and an Individual Investor. All Advisory members are also members of securities industry groups such as the "Financial Information Forum" and the "Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association". Please see CTA Advisory Committee document.